Naamah's Blessing

Though it did show signs of greatness akin to those which made the previous Terre d'Ange novels such incredible reads, I felt that Naamah's Kiss turned out to be Jacqueline Carey's weakest Kushiel-related work to date. Given the originality and the quality of its predecessors, Naamah's Kiss and the next two installments had big shoes to fill. Which is quite unfair as far as expectations go, but that's the way love goes.

Weakest installment or not, Naamah's Kiss was nonetheless better than most fantasy titles out there. And its sequel, Naamah's Curse, turned out to be a better balanced read. Indeed, it was another convoluted book full of wonder and sensuality.

Understandably, I was looking forward to discovering how the author would close the show in Naamah's Blessing. And I'm pleased to report that Carey brought this trilogy to a satisfying ending.

Here's the blurb:

Returning to Terre d'Ange, Moirin finds the royal family broken. Wracked by unrelenting grief at the loss of his wife, Queen Jehanne, King Daniel is unable to rule. Prince Thierry, leading an expedition to explore the deadly jungles of Terra Nova, is halfway across the world. And three year old Desirée is a vision of her mother: tempestuous, intelligent, and fiery, but desperately lonely, and a vulnerable pawn in a game of shifting political allegiances.

As tensions mount, King Daniel asks that Moirin become Desirée's oath-sworn protector. Navigating the intricate political landscape of the Court proves a difficult challenge, and when dire news arrives from overseas, the spirit of Queen Jehanne visits Moirin in a dream and bids her undertake an impossible quest.

Another specter from the past also haunts Moirin. Travelling with Thierry in the New World is Raphael de Mereliot, her manipulative former lover. Years ago, Raphael forced her to help him summon fallen angels in the hopes of acquiring mystical gifts and knowledge. It was a disastrous effort that nearly killed them, and Moirin must finally bear the costs of those bitter mistakes.

As is habitually her wont, Jacqueline Carey's worldbuilding is great. Eschewing the traditional European medieval environment, Carey's creation is a Renaissance era analog and it is set in an alternate version of Western Europe. Previous Terre d'Ange books took us on amazing journeys that enabled readers to discover more about her universe. Richly detailed and imagined in terms of cultures, religions, and politics, every installment of Moirin's trilogy was a textured and sophisticated novel that took us to alternate versions of Britain, France, China, Mongolia, Russia, India, and Nepal. Not surprisingly, Naamah's Blessing turned out to be another vast and captivating travelogue which introduced us to Terra Nova, an analog of the New world with alternate versions of Central America and Peru. The author's depiction of the Mayan, Aztec, and Inca cultures was well-done and certainly gave this novel its unique flavor compared to its predecessors.

There was a lot of drama involved in Moirin's return to Terre d'Ange, yet it was nice to see things come full circle in that regard. Scenes featuring young Désirée with Moirin and Bao were emotional and Moirin being named the child's sworn protector added another layer to the already complex relationship between the bear witch and the royal family. But to a certain extent, the tale truly begins when Moirin sails away to the new continent. Readers have always known that they would see Raphael de Mereliot again, that the storyline betwen Moirin and her former lover was not over. But I never expected this. I loved how the author tied up that loose end.

I'm not the only reader who missed the first person narrative of Phèdre nó Delaunay early on. Having spent her childhood in isolation in the wilderness, there was an innocence and vulnerability to Moirin, but also a definite strength that Phèdre did not possess at a young age. That resolve got sorely tested in the second volume. During her search for Bao, she often found herself alone and forced to rely on no one but herself. I feel that her harrowing experiences during the search for her beloved and subsequent captivity and flight finally made her come together as a main protagonist. So much so that I stopped comparing her to Phèdre and Imriel, as if Moirin's voice and perspective had finally taken their rightful place in the driver's seat. And it's even more evident in this final installment.

Jacqueline Carey has a knack for creating endearing and memorable secondary characters, and once more she came up with a wonderful cast for Naamah's Blessing. As mentioned, there are some poignant scenes featuring Désirée. But there is also Balthasar Shahrizai and Lianne Tremaine, as well as Moirin's father. There is Eyahue, the randy jungle guide, the ferocious warrior Temilotzin, and the brave Maidens of the Sun. And, as always, Bao, who carries half on Moirin's soul in his heart.

The author continues to write with elegance. As I've said many times, her lyrical prose is something special and I feel it could well be the very best in the genre today. Once more in Naamah's Blessing, her enthralling prose creates an imagery filled with wonder and beauty. And other than Robin Hobb, no one makes her characters suffer as much over the course of a book/series.

Like its predecessor, this novel doesn't suffer from any pacing issues. The rhythm flows well throughout and the ending is a compelling blend of happiness and heartbreak. One can only hope that Moirin and Bao will now make those fat babies. Round as dumplings! God knows they have earned some joy and peace of mind.

When all is said and done, though rewarding and satisfying, Moirin's trilogy couldn't possibly hope to equal or surpass Phèdre and Imriel's tales. Still, the series is well worth reading and is superior to most SFF works on the market today.

The final verdict: 8/10

For more info about this title, follow these Amazon Associate links: Canada, USA, Europe

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now download Katherine Arden's The Bear and the Nightingale for only 1.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link.

Here's the blurb:

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

For a limited time, all the installments of C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia are 1.99$ each here. There is a price match in Canada.

Here's the blurb for the first volume:

Don’t miss one of America’s top 100 most-loved novels, selected by PBS’s The Great American Read.

Narnia . . . a land frozen in eternal winter . . . a country waiting to be set free.

Witness the creation of a magical land in The Magician's Nephew, the first title in C. S. Lewis's classic fantasy series, which has captivated readers of all ages for over sixty years.

On a daring quest to save a life, two friends are hurled into another world, where an evil sorceress seeks to enslave them. But then the lion Aslan's song weaves itself into the fabric of a new land, a land that will be known as Narnia. And in Narnia, all things are possible.

This ebook contains the complete text and art. Illustrations in this ebook appear in vibrant full color on a full-color ebook device and in rich black-and-white on all other devices.

This is a stand-alone novel, but if you want to journey back to Narnia, read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the second book in The Chronicles of Narnia.

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (March 23rd)

In paperback:

Stephen King's The Outsider maintains its position at number 5 (trade paperback).

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now get your hands on the digital edition of C. J. Cherryh's Alternate Realities for only 4.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link.

Here's the blurb:

Port Eternity

Their names were Lancelot, Elaine, Percivale, Gawain, Mordred, Lynette and Vivien, and they were made people, clone servants who worked aboard The Maid, an anachronistic fantasy of a spaceship. They had no idea of their origins, from those old storytapes of romance, chivalry, heroism and betrayal, until a ripple in the space-time continuum sucked The Maid and her crew into a no-man’s land from which there could be no return, and they were left alone to face a crisis which their ancient prototypes were never designed to master…

Wave Without a Shore

Freedom was an isolated planet, off the main spaceways and rarely visited by commercial spacers. It wasn’t that Freedom was inhospitable, the problem was that outsiders—tourists and traders—claimed that the streets were crowded with mysterious blue-robed aliens. Native-born humans, however, denied that these aliens existed—until a planetary crisis forced a confrontation between the question of reality and the reality of the question…

Voyager in the Night

Rafe Murray, his sister Jillian, and Jillian’s husband Paul Gaines, like many other out-of-luck spacers, had come to newly built Endeavor Station to find their future. Their tiny ship, Lindy, had been salvaged from the junk heap, and fitted to mine ore from the mineral-rich rings which circled Endeavor. But their future proved to be far stranger than any of them imagined, when a “collision” with a huge alien vessel provided them with the oddest first contact experience possible!

You can also download The Book of Magic, an anthology edited by Gardner Dozois, for only 4.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link.

Here's the blurb:

A new anthology celebrating the witches and sorcerers of epic fantasy—featuring stories by George R. R. Martin, Scott Lynch, Megan Lindholm, and many others!

Hot on the heels of Gardner Dozois’s acclaimed anthology The Book of Swords comes this companion volume devoted to magic. How could it be otherwise? For every Frodo, there is a Gandalf . . . and a Saruman. For every Dorothy, a Glinda . . . and a Wicked Witch of the West. What would Harry Potter be without Albus Dumbledore . . . and Severus Snape? Figures of wisdom and power, possessing arcane, often forbidden knowledge, wizards and sorcerers are shaped—or misshaped—by the potent magic they seek to wield. Yet though their abilities may be godlike, these men and women remain human—some might say all too human. Such is their curse. And their glory.

In these pages, seventeen of today’s top fantasy writers—including award-winners Elizabeth Bear, John Crowley, Kate Elliott, K. J. Parker, Tim Powers, and Liz Williams—cast wondrous spells that thrillingly evoke the mysterious, awesome, and at times downright terrifying worlds where magic reigns supreme: worlds as far away as forever, and as near as next door.


“The Return of the Pig” by K. J. Parker
“Community Service” by Megan Lindholm
“Flint and Mirror” by John Crowley
“The Friends of Masquelayne the Incomparable” by Matthew Hughes
“The Biography of a Bouncing Boy Terror: Chapter Two: Jumping Jack in Love” by Ysabeau S. Wilce
“Song of Fire” by Rachel Pollack
“Loft the Sorcerer” by Eleanor Arnason
“The Governor” by Tim Powers
“Sungrazer” by Liz Williams
“The Staff in the Stone” by Garth Nix
“No Work of Mine” by Elizabeth Bear
“Widow Maker” by Lavie Tidhar
“The Wolf and the Manticore” by Greg Van Eekhout
“The Devil’s Whatever” by Andy Duncan
“Bloom” by Kate Elliott
“The Fall and Rise of the House of the Wizard Malkuril” by Scott Lynch

Plus George R. R. Martin’s classic story “A Night at the Tarn House” and an introduction by Gardner Dozois.

You can also get your hands on the digital edition of Wild Cards I, the book that started it all, for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. There is a price match in Canada.

Here's the blurb:

The first volume of George R. R. Martin's WILD CARDS shared-world series, back in print after a decade―and expanded with new, original material.

There is a secret history of the world―a history in which an alien virus struck the Earth in the aftermath of World War II, endowing a handful of survivors with extraordinary powers. Some were called Aces―those with superhuman mental and physical abilities. Others were termed Jokers―cursed with bizarre mental or physical disabilities. Some turned their talents to the service of humanity. Others used their powers for evil. Wild Cards is their story.

Originally published in 1987, Wild Cards I includes powerful tales by Roger Zelazny, Walter Jon Williams, Howard Waldrop, Lewis Shiner, and George R. R. Martin himself. And this new, expanded edition contains further original tales set at the beginning of the Wild Cards universe, by eminent new writers like Hugo–winner David Levine, noted screenwriter and novelist Michael Cassutt, and New York Times bestseller Carrie Vaughn.

Now in development for TV!

Rights to develop Wild Cards for TV have been acquired by Universal Cable Productions, the team that brought you The Magicians and Mr. Robot, with the co-editor of Wild Cards, Melinda Snodgrass as executive producer.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now download J. R. R. Tolkien's The Children of Húrin for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link.

Here's the blurb:

Painstakingly restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts and presented for the first time as a fully continuous and standalone story, this illustrated paperback of the epic tale of The Children of Húrin will reunite fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Elves, dragons, Dwarves and Orcs, and the rich landscape and characters unique to Tolkien.

It is a legendary time long before The Lord of the Rings, and Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwells in the vast fortress of Angband in the North; and within the shadow of the fear of Angband, and the war waged by Morgoth against the Elves, the fates of Túrin and his sister Niënor will be tragically entwined.

Their brief and passionate lives are dominated by the elemental hatred that Morgoth bears them as the children of Húrin, the man who dared to defy him to his face. Against them Morgoth sends his most formidable servant, Glaurung, a powerful spirit in the form of a huge wingless dragon of fire, in an attempt to fulfil the curse of Morgoth, and destroy the children of Húrin.

Begun by J.R.R. Tolkien at the end of the First World War, The Children of Húrin became the dominant story in his later work on Middle-earth. But he could not bring it to a final and finished form. In this book Christopher Tolkien has constructed, after long study of the manuscripts, a coherent narrative without any editorial invention.

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (March 16th)

In paperback:

Stephen King's The Outsider is down two positions, ending the week at number 5 (trade paperback).

Andrzej Sapkowski's The Last Wish returns at number 13.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now download Brian Ruckley's Winterbirth, the opening chapter in one of the best grimdark series out there, for only 4.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link.

Here's the blurb:

An uneasy truce exists between the thanes of the True Bloods. Now, as another winter approaches, the armies of the Black Road march south, from their exile beyond the Vale of Stones. For some, war will bring a swift and violent death. Others will not hear the clash of swords or see the corpses strewn over the fields. Instead, they will see an opportunity to advance their own ambitions. But soon, all will fall under the shadow that is descending. For while the storm of battle rages, one man is following a path that will awaken a terrible power in him -- and his legacy will be written in blood.

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (March 9th)

In paperback:

Stephen King's The Outsider maintains its position at number 3 (trade paperback).

Andrzej Sapkowski's Sword of Destiny returns at number 15.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Steven Erikson's Willful Child for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. There is a price match in Canada.

Here's the blurb:

From the New York Times Bestselling author Steven Erikson comes a new science fiction novel of devil-may-care, near calamitous and downright chaotic adventures through the infinite vastness of interstellar space.

These are the voyages of the starship A.S.F. Willful Child. Its ongoing mission: to seek out strange new worlds on which to plant the Terran flag, to subjugate and if necessary obliterate new life-forms, to boldly blow the...

And so we join the not-terribly-bright but exceedingly cock-sure Captain Hadrian Sawback and his motley crew on board the Starship Willful Child for a series of devil-may-care, near-calamitous and downright chaotic adventures through ‘the infinite vastness of interstellar space.’

The New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Malazan Book of the Fallen sequence has taken his lifelong passion for Star Trek and transformed it into a smart, inventive, and hugely entertaining spoof on the whole mankind-exploring-space-for-the-good-of-all-species-but-trashing-stuff-with-a-lot-of-high-tech-gadgets-along-the-way, overblown adventure. The result is an SF novel that deftly parodies the genre while also paying fond homage to it.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now download Guy Gavriel Kay's The Lions of Al-Rassan for only 1.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link.

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.

The Girl and the Stars

I've said it before and I'll say it again. With well over a million copies sold worldwide and four quality series under his belt, there's no question that Mark Lawrence now deserves to be ranked among the very best SFF authors out there. He has continued to make a name for himself with each new release, pushing the envelope further and further with storylines that always grew in depth and scope. It's evident that "That thorn guy," as George R. R. Martin referred to him at a convention a few of years ago, has come a long way since Prince of Thorns was first published back in 2011.

Although quite different in style and tone, The Broken Empire and The Red Queen's War series shared the same universe. The same can be said of the Book of the Ancestor and the Book of the Ice trilogies. It's too early to tell whether or not these last two series will ever overlap the way their predecessors did, but you can rest assured that you can fully enjoy The Girl and the Stars even if you are a newbie. To all ends and purposes, though they occur on the same planet, this marks the beginning of a brand new story arc, with new protagonists, a new setting, and new plotlines.

And like all of Lawrence's first installments, The Girl and the Stars is the opening chapter of what should be another compelling trilogy.

Here's the blurb:

In the ice, east of the Black Rock, there is a hole into which broken children are thrown.

On Abeth the vastness of the ice holds no room for individuals. Survival together is barely possible. No one survives alone.

To resist the cold, to endure the months of night when even the air itself begins to freeze, requires a special breed. Variation is dangerous, difference is fatal. And Yaz is not the same.

Yaz is torn from the only life she’s ever known, away from her family, from the boy she thought she would spend her days with, and has to carve out a new path for herself in a world whose existence she never suspected. A world full of difference and mystery and danger.

Yaz learns that Abeth is older and stranger than she had ever imagined. She learns that her weaknesses are another kind of strength. And she learns to challenge the cruel arithmetic of survival that has always governed her people.

Only when it’s darkest you can see the stars.

There is no question that Mark Lawrence's novels have always been character-driven works. Still, worldbuilding often played a somewhat important role in his three fantasy series. The Book of the Ancestor trilogy featured a dying sun and a planet left with only a 50-mile wide corridor running along the length of its surface heated by a focus moon that allows mankind to survive from the encroaching ice that covers the globe throughout both hemispheres. The Girl and the Stars occurs hundreds, or even thousands of miles to the north, where the corridor and things we take for granted like trees are either unheard of or the stuff of legends. When I inquired last year, the author was still unsure whether or not this new tale takes place before or after Nona's story. Time will tell, I reckon.

Little was known and/or remembered of what is trapped under the ice in the Book of the Ancestor, with only hints of hidden and nefarious powers from the deep coming into play. And though it raises new questions, The Girl and the Stars offers some tantalizing answers about what lies under the ice. We learned in the last trilogy that the world of Abeth was colonized ages before by four different alien races known as the Gerant, the Hunska, the Marjal, and the Quantal. Descendants from these four "tribes" may have inherited special powers or abilities associated with each bloodline. Mixed bloods can potentially be even more powerful. But before the coming of these alien races and before the coming of the vast ice sheets which now cover the continents, the fabled Missing held sway. What ultimately happened to them and why they left is unknown. But confined under the ice are the remains of some of their cities and technology. Which means that, as was the case in the previous three trilogies, it seems that age-old technology might play a role in the Book of the Ice as well. As is usually his wont, Lawrence keeps his cards pretty close to his chest throughout this first volume. Yet it is evident that there is much more to The Girl and the Stars than meets the eye. Time will tell if this new series will echo with as much depth as its predecessors, but I have learned to have faith in Mark Lawrence. He hasn't left me down yet.

Unlike The Broken Empire and The Red Queen's War series, in which readers were thrown into an ongoing story, with flashback scenes filling in the blanks along the way, like the trilogy that preceded it The Girl and the Stars follows a more traditional format, with a young and more or less clueless main protagonist learning about the world and the plotlines at the same pace as the reader. As a child of the Ictha, Yaz's existence has always revolved around survival and superstition. There is no place for anything else out on the ice. Surviving a fall to the bottom of the Pit of the Missing will bring her face to face with a new world unlike anything she has ever imagined. Her time among the Broken will make her question her former life and the lies underpinning the laws that govern the tribes up on the surface. Her hitherto unknown talents will allow her to unveil ancient secrets that will make her see the regulator and the priests of the Black Rock in a new light.

Yaz of the Ictha is the main protagonist through whose eyes we witness events unfold. And though there are similitudes regarding their respective plights, she is a world away from the POV character from the Book of the Ancestor trilogy. Forsaken and friendless, Nona Grey was a tough nut to crack. She didn't open up easily, to other people as well as to the readers. Although it was easy to root for her, given that all the odds appeared stacked against her, it was nevertheless difficult to relate to Nona. After following the misadventures of the easy-going and likeable Jalan, it definitely took a while to finally get used to Nona and her quirks. Yaz is more empathic and a bit of a do-gooder at heart, which makes it easier to relate to her. That sensitivity will come to plague her and put her in perilous situations, but Yaz remains true to herself throughout the book. The supporting cast is comprised of a bunch of misfits, most of them thrown down the Pit of the Missing and miserably trying to eke out a living trapped under countless feet under the ice.

The pace is never an issue and remains relatively fluid throughout The Girl and the Stars. There are a few battle scenes that felt repetitives and could probably have been cut out without readers losing anything important in the process. I found the endgame to be interesting, but could have done without the cliffhanger ending. Thankfully, we're talking about Mark Lawrence and not GRRM or Patrick Rothfuss and we know that the sequel has already been written. Which means that a year from now, we know for sure that we'll discover what happens next. Having said that, I would have preferred for this novel to be more self-contained and to end with more resolution. Some may find this off-putting, while others won't have any problem with that. You mileage may vary in that regard, and this may understandably influence your overall satisfaction rating.

All in all, The Girl and the Stars is another multilayered introduction that sets the stage for what should be yet another entertaining and engrossing series!

The final verdict: 7.75/10

For more info about this title, follow these Amazon Associate links: Canada, USA, Europe.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now download Robert Jackson Bennett's Foundryside for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link.

Here's the blurb:

In a city that runs on industrialized magic, a secret war will be fought to overwrite reality itself–the first in a dazzling new fantasy series from City of Stairs author Robert Jackson Bennett.

Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle.

But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic–the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience–have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims.

Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them.

To have a chance at surviving—and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s under way—Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact’s power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined.

Win an Advance Reading Copy of Robert Jackson Bennett's SHOREFALL

I'm giving away my advance reading copy of Robert Jackson Bennett's Shorefall to one lucky winner! For more info about this title, follow these Amazon Associate links: Canada, USA, Europe.

Here's the blurb:

As a magical revolution remakes a city, an ancient evil is awakened in a brilliant new novel from the Hugo-nominated author of Foundryside and the Divine Cities trilogy.

A few years ago, Sancia Grado would’ve happily watched Tevanne burn. Now, she’s hoping to transform her city into something new. Something better. Together with allies Orso, Gregor, and Berenice, she’s about to strike a deadly blow against Tevanne’s cruel robber-baron rulers and wrest power from their hands for the first time in decades.

But then comes a terrifying warning: Crasedes Magnus himself, the first of the legendary hierophants, is about to be reborn. And if he returns, Tevanne will be just the first place to feel his wrath.

Thousands of years ago, Crasedes was an ordinary man who did the impossible: Using the magic of scriving—the art of imbuing objects with sentience—he convinced reality that he was something more than human. Wielding powers beyond comprehension, he strode the world like a god for centuries, meting out justice and razing empires single-handedly, cleansing the world through fire and destruction—and even defeating death itself.

Like it or not, it’s up to Sancia to stop him. But to have a chance in the battle to come, she’ll have to call upon a god of her own—and unlock the door to a scriving technology that could change what it means to be human. And no matter who wins, nothing will ever be the same.

The awe-inspiring second installment of the Founders Trilogy, Shorefall returns us to the world Robert Jackson Bennett created in his acclaimed Foundryside . . . and forges it anew.

The rules are the same as usual. You need to send an email at reviews@(no-spam) with the header "SHOREFALL." 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!

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (March 2nd)

In paperback:

Stephen King's The Outsider is down one spot, finishing the week at number 3 (trade paperback).

Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale returns at number 15 (trade paperback).

Kevin Hearne contest winner!

This lucky winner will receive my advance reading copy of Kevin Hearne's A Blight of Blackwings! For more info about this title, follow these Amazon Associate links: Canada, USA, Europe.

The winner is:

Eric Sullivan, from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Many thanks to all the participants!

Quote of the Day

The ship sailed onward, rendering the past a series of memories, carrying us toward a new destiny.

I prayed that for once, the gods would be merciful.

But I doubted it.

- JACQUELINE CAREY, Naamah's Blessing (Canada, USA, Europe)

I have a feeling that things will get worse before they get better. . .

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Nicholas Eames' Bloody Rose for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. There is a price match in Canada.

Here's the blurb:

A band of fabled mercenaries, led by the infamous Bloody Rose, tour a wild fantasy landscape, battling monsters in arenas in front of thousands of adoring fans, but a secret and dangerous gig ushers them to the frozen north, and the band is never one to waste a shot at glory . . . even if it means almost certain death.

Live fast, die young.

Tam Hashford is tired of working at her local pub, slinging drinks for world-famous mercenaries and listening to the bards sing of adventure and glory in the world beyond her sleepy hometown.

When the biggest mercenary band of all, led by the infamous Bloody Rose, rolls into town, Tam jumps at the chance to sign on as their bard. It’s adventure she wants – and adventure she gets as the crew embark on a quest that will end in one of two ways: glory or death.

It’s time to take a walk on the wyld side.