A run-of-the-mill fantasy story with some interesting ideas
The Teralin Sword was an interesting story with some great plot points. I was particularly gripped by the concept of the mineral Teralin itself. The author developed a really cool concept with the nature of this metal and its ability to be forged into fascinating weapons. I also enjoyed the dark monks and their evil ways – they lent a brutal gravitas to the book and gave the protagonist a believable and sympathetic motive for his part in the story.
As this blog focuses on world-building, I want to share with you my review of a great urban fantasy book I read recently that has excellent world-building – Nite Fire: Flash Point by C.L. Schneider – Enjoy!
A dark, gritty urban fantasy that is reminiscent of Jessica Jones
This book took me a long time to finish, not because I wasn’t enjoying it but because every inch of the world is so rich and loaded with fantastic details which all come together to build an image of this heavy, dark city plagued by crime and a nasty underworld of creature attacks. I was strongly reminded of the Jessica Jones TV show. This book has the same film-noir feel to it – sour, embittered detectives and dark underworld goings-on. The protagonist, Dahlia Nite is also very Jessica Jones – strong, independent and won’t take any nonsense from anybody!
As with all of C.L. Schneider’s work, the plot is complex and well-developed, the characters grey and layered. Nothing is as it seems, and there is always layer upon layer of mystery, intrigue, snappy comebacks and downright brutal violence. Schneider is one of few authors I read who can make my jaw physically drop. She is a master of the epic reveal!
A cracking read – I can’t wait for the next in the series!
More from C.L. Schneider:
Nite Fire: Chain Reaction
One of my favourite authors, C.L. Schneider, is on the countdown to releasing her latest novel – Chain Reaction: Book 2 of Nite Fire (an epic urban fantasy series). I’m super excited to share the cover with you. Inspired by a compilation of several scenes within the book, the cover features empathic shapeshifter, Dahlia Nite, in her (mostly) human form. The artwork was created by the amazing cover artist, Alan Dingman.
If anyone can tell the difference between monsters and humans, it’s Dahlia Nite. For nearly a century, she’s hunted one to protect the other; safeguarding humanity from the creatures that slip through the torn veil between the worlds—creatures like her. But the lines are blurring. As people begin mutating and combusting on the streets, Dahlia realizes a strange affliction has descended upon Sentinel City. The mysterious ailment strikes all walks of life, from the posh, high-end nightclub district to the homeless community. Its victims, driven to random acts of savagery, are drawing attention too fast to cover up.
Assigned to the case, Dahlia and her human partner, Detective Alex Creed, investigate the deaths. But all they have is questions and bodies, and a public on the verge of panic. Working behind the scenes with her self-appointed sidekick, Casey Evans, Dahlia struggles to discover what, or who, is behind the alarming transformations. As the violence spreads and the mystery unfolds, she wonders: are the victims still human? Were they ever?
Chain Reaction is the second book in the Nite Fire Series.
Curious about the series?
Read excerpts at clschneiderauthor.com
Check out the trailer for Flash Point (bk#1) https://youtu.be/C041ClBpihI
Catch up with book #1 before book #2 comes out! http://mybook.to/NF1
Chain Reaction will be available for paperback and up for pre-order soon. Subscribe to the newsletter for information on the official release date http://bit.ly/2EgLFfr
About the Author
C.L. Schneider is an award-winning independent author of adult epic and urban fantasy. Born in a small Kansas town, she currently resides in New York’s scenic Hudson Valley Region with her husband and two sons. Her published works include the epic trilogy, The Crown of Stones, and Flash Point, the first book in her urban fantasy series, Nite Fire. Book two, Chain Reaction, will be released in early 2018.
Learn more about C.L. Schneider, and the worlds she creates, at clschneiderauthor.com where you can read reviews, excerpts and sneak peeks, join her Street Team, and subscribe to her newsletter. An active part of the indie author online community, you can connect with her on social media, where she is often found chatting about the daily ups and downs of a writer’s life.
All titles available in paperback or for Kindle. Read free with Kindle Unlimited.
Nite Fire: Flash Point (Bk 1)
The Crown of Stones: Magic-Price (also available on Audible)
The Crown of Stones: Magic-Scars
The Crown of Stones: Magic-Borne
Today, A.M. Manay is talking about her young adult high fantasy novel Hexborn.
Hexborn and the English Reformation
Gasps filled the village Temple as Brother Edmun began reading the king’s declaration regarding his takeover of the Church of Bryn. He stopped and glared at them over the top of the paper until they quieted, then continued. Shiloh, sitting on the front bench, could feel eyes upon her back when he got to the section about the cleanliness laws. Her Da patted her arm and gave her a grin and a wink, and she relaxed.
Talented author Anita Kovacevic is featured on my blog today to showcase her new book, a dark fairy tale entitled The Forest of Trees
THE FOREST OF TREES BLURB:
When a family of four faces the brutal reality of their city life, they readily embrace a complete change. Emma and David Stone, with their kids Jeremy and Dot, move to a small town with their big hopes. However, small towns have their own secrets – from urban legends about The Forest of Trees to family skeletons in closets everyone knows about.
Gradually, Jeremy and Dot make some new and unusual friends, whereas Emma and David start working again, and things seem to be going for the better. But evil never rests. The Jacksons, a bigoted and brutal family of pig farmers, however scary, are not the only ones leaning towards malice. The more new friendships grow, the more villains will struggle to retain power. Will the arrival of the newcomers tip the scales in favour of the good or the evil? And how can The Forest of Trees play its part in the solution?
The life between the legendary Forest of Trees and the small town of Tillsworth is separated only by a road. All it takes to reconnect is to take that path.
‘This is not a fairy tale for children, but an adult examination of the way belief in oneself can change the course of lives. It is lovely, frightening, joyous, and painful. Anita Kovacevic can put another notch in her author’s belt with this brilliantly written book.’
By Elizabeth Newton, from Between the Beats (https://elizabethnnewton.com/2017/12/28/the-forest-of-trees-by-anita-kovacevic/)
‘Some of the parts were like the fairytale, happy and carefree, but other parts were nothing but the harsh reality.
The ability of the author to jump from one to another was so easy. I loved the beautiful description of the forest creatures, but I also loved the other side of the coin…’
Irena Cacic, on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36407464-the-forest-of-trees )
From the author’s foreword:
Our lives always consist of beauty and ugliness, and if we are lucky, we get to keep the balance of the two. The good and the bad start from within us, and spread all around us. It is what weaves this world, and, I believe, all worlds everywhere and everywhen.
All fairytales consist of magic and horror. Not everyone is always good, and not everyone is always bad. Snow White faced the evil Witch Queen, Cinderella her step-family, the children and parents the Pied Piper…
In a way, this story is also a horror fairytale, but it is not for children. You may feel like reading some parts to your children, but those were the parts told by my own inner child, the one who still hopes and believes in magic. The horror in the story has nothing magical about it – it brings out the harsh reality I hated to write, but had to write out of me.
To paraphrase the words of two fascinating authors, we must write even that which we don’t want to write, because it must be said (S. King). And it is up to us which side we choose – the good or the easy (J. K. Rowling).
For myself, I admit to having both sides, but I intend to always feed the good in me – always.
CHAPTER 11 – READY?
Jeremy felt as if a gigantic troll with spiky teeth and heavy hands was pounding with a rock hammer against the insides of Jeremy’s skull. The noise of his bloodstream, the rhythm of his rage, the tremor of his fear, all were so strong that not even the school bus, hitting every single bump on the road, could shake them off. It was like his heart had been mauled from his chest by a monster claw, as flashes of the ruined canvas blinded his eyes like electricity coming on and off. Unconscious of his own actions, he reached for his chest to check, but there was no blood gushing, although it felt hot and excruciating just the same.
He wasn’t wiping off any tears, for there were none to dry. He wished there had been. He wished he could still cry about it, the way he had with his dad that day in the bathroom, and wash away the feeling of shame, guilt, filth, ruin and fury. But his eyes were as dry as the desert sand, and he stared through the bus window, aimlessly observing the scenery without actually seeing anything. He was almost numb to the outside world and the people around him.
CHAPTER 12 – A CHANGE IN THE WEATHER
“I hope nobody is still out there,” Miss Pagiotti said.
The rain shower had turned into a thick curtain, masking most outer events. For a second, Miss Pagiotti thought she could see something or someone still there, so she grabbed Mr Jones by the wrist, and they both rose to their feet and walked even closer to the window.
They froze at the image they saw.
Angel’s family was walking outside in the rain, from the direction of a nearby supermarket to their lorry, parked further down the street. The group was led by the grandpa, his grey jacket drenched, steel-framed boots threading the puddles. His dark hat was tucked on his forehead, hiding his wrinkled face, as his eyes fixated on the lorry; the weather never swaying his stride, despite his limp. He walked as if the storm was merely an annoying fly to swat, and ignoring everybody behind him. Angel’s dad followed, copying his father, almost tripping as he forced his legs to adjust the pace and remain behind the pack leader. His yellow fisherman raincoat protected his body, but raindrops blinded him. His two teenage sons walked each on one side of their dad, trying not to stay behind. The two dark-haired adolescents were shaking from the cold, their hands in their jacket pockets, all wet through, skinny, grim and unhappy, faces freshly scarred from fighting or getting beaten. Angel dragged his baby brother behind the trio, annoyed at being left behind as the designated babysitter, his bald wet head glowing in the street light.
As the Jackson procession passed the restaurant, Ben’s dad opened the door ajar.
“Come inside. Get warm,” he said.
“Mind your own business, you blithering idiot. The Jacksons need no charity,” Old Jackson barked above the noise of the storm, not even looking at the man.
OTHER BOOKS BY ANITA KOVACEVIC:
Adult books: The Threshold – paranormal novella; Average Daydreamer – light romance; Versus Verses – Feel – poetry; Versus Verses – Love – poetry
Children’s books: Winky’s Colours: A Penguin’s Story; The Good Pirate; Mimi Finds Her Magic; Spikes for Hank
Contributions to anthologies:
Teaching Children from the Heart & Inner Giant; Awethology Light & December Awethology Light Volume; Twisted Tales & Crooked Tales; Looking into the Abyss; A Treasure Chest of Children’s Stories
Anita Kovacevic is multi-genre author of both children’s and adult fiction. Her belief in the power of storytelling has been strengthened through her years of teaching and teacher training. Anita enjoys writing stories which come to her on her ‘dreamstep’, blending reality and magic, and has a quirky fondness for writing limerick stories. You can read her reviews, book news and author interviews on her WordPress blog Anita’s Haven. She lives with her husband and children in Croatia, where she graduated from university with a degree in English and Spanish Literature.
(find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as Anita’s Haven; WordPress blog https://anitashaven.wordpress.com/)
Today I am delighted to hand my blog over to the wonderful L.G. Surgeson who has just relaunched her stunning Black River Chronicles series. She’s here to tell us a bit about it:
About the Chronicles
The Black River Chronicles is a series of the tales that follows the exploits of The Aberddu Guild of Adventurers – a rag-gag collection of mercenaries, thieves, priests and misguided hero-types that seem to wonder into the path of fate with worrying frequency. It’s an odd life as an adventurer, particularly when you joined up for fame and fortune but find yourself up to your knees in the middens of history. In the first three stories, the adventurers take on ancient evils, wicked demon-worshippers and a maniacal God in the full knowledge that unless they rob someone on the way home they won’t get paid. Some of them will live, some will die and some will last forever. Join the adventure and follow the Black River to see where it leads.
Praise for the Chronicles
The Summer of Fire:
“… the characters carry the day. I loved the characters and there are plenty of them.”
“This was a good book, very captivating”
The Winter That Follows:
“The characters are rich and deep, and give the feeling of having lived. I look forward to the next in the series.”
The Freetown Bridge:
“The story moves on quickly and brought me to genuine laughter and even a heartfelt tear. I am surprised that this is the first book by Surgeson; with a start like this I expect great things to come!!”
“An excellent first edition of a novel to rival the current fantasy fiction favourites.”
About the Author
LG Surgeson is a writer and teacher who lives in a cottage by a river in a little Welsh village with her long-suffering partner and their two cats. She writes novels and articles in the spare time she creates by avoiding the housework and pretending to be a hermit. She likes to write fantasy adventure stories and quasi-autobiographical tales about teaching, which are equally fantastical and no less adventurous but have fewer elves. She also writes articles and blog posts about subjects close to her heart, normally education and mental health. When she’s not writing, she likes to poke about in her garden, pretending to grow things and disturbing the fairies. Her cats like to help. They aren’t good at it.
Social Media Links
My brand new epic fantasy novel The Shield of Soren has just gone live on Amazon!
What an amazing journey the author leads you on! With remarkable characters, a sensational and catchy story line, and a captivating ending, you won’t want the story to end. Amazon reader
The characters are superbly written. Amazon reader.
This is a great fast-paced fantasy with very memorable characters. Amazon reader.
My brand new epic fantasy novel The Shield of Soren has just gone live on Amazon!
It’s all good news this week as three of my current works-in-progress are coming along nicely.
Today I received the news that my next full-length novel The Shield of Soren has finished proofreading and is ready to progress to publishing. It will be released next month.
I also had an email from my fabulous editor to say that my novella in the same series, Genesis of Light, has been through the second stage of editing. Not only that, but the complementary novella that goes with it, Origin of Shadow, is also currently in editing!
The first book in the series, A Chronicle of Chaos, is available now: http://mybook.to/ChronicleofChaos
Or, you can get a free preview of the first few chapters here: https://instafreebie.com/free/oMsTt