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Saturday , 12 November 2016 , 06 : 43 PM
Review: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo Review by Adrian Collins   Spoiler alert: If you haven't read Six of Crows, don't read this review. After enjoying Six of Crows so much, I leapt straight into book two. With what I do here at GdM meaning the series on my to read list are often broken up by ARCs, it's a rarity that I get to do it, but I couldn't help myself on this occasion. I'm so glad I didn't wait. We pick up almost immediately where Six of Crows left off. Inej is in trouble. Kaz is trying to pick up the pieces of his last failed heist and get his crew together to get her back. Jan Van Eck has put a target on Kaz's head and is leveraging Inej's imprisonment to get Kaz to hand over Kuwei Yu Bol and the secret to Jurda Parem so he can control the grisha (mages), the farms that make Jurda, and hit new heights of power in the economic instability he will create in Ketterdam. The story once again jumps between Kaz's crews' points of view, giving us insight into each character's view of the world, hiding and revealing plot points to some and not others, and--importantly, as a point of difference between Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom--delves far deeper into the lives of our protagonists than previously shown. This, I think, is where some readers will be irreversibly hooked, and where others who loved the relentless pace of Six of Crows may find themselves not as engaged in the reading experience. For me, I found myself in the "irreversibly hooked" camp as we found out more and more about why these broken people are who they are.  This slight change of pace peppered throughout provides some breathing time for a longer read than Six...
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Thursday , 14 May 2015 , 11 : 07 PM
Grimdark Magazine issue #4 is locked in, and have we got a cracking issue ready for you! Behind another brilliant piece of artwork on the cover, you'll get short stories, an article, a review, excerpts and a couple of interviews. Here's what you'll find inside: Cover art: a dark piece from Jason Deem named Symbiosis. Short stories: In Brazen Dreams by Matthew Ward shady characters converge on a powerful relic. Tara Calaby asks "what happens after happily ever after" in Ashes.  Redemption Waits by Mike Brooks set in his Keiko universe (Dark Run). A Steelhaven short story by Richard Ford, The Halfwyrd's Burden. Excerpts: A Crown for Cold Silver by Alex Marshall The Liar's Key by Mark Lawrence Reviews: The Vagrant by Peter Newman Interviews: Peter V. Brett  Brandon Sanderson  Article: The Mud, the Blood and the Years by Ragnarok and Orbit author John R. Fultz Purchase Grimdark Magazine #4 now If you'd prefer to buy from Amazon, do us a favour and PLEASE USE THIS LINK. We get a kickback from Amazon. Every little bit helps!
Saturday , 18 April 2015 , 10 : 55 PM
Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb Reviewed by Adrian Collins I have just been inside the imagination of a literary genius. Robin Hobb's debut novel, Assassin's Apprentice, is a thoroughly enjoyable story about a royal bastard named Fitz put to use by his family, and trying to survive and find happiness. Fitz is an outcast by none of his own doing. He's a bastard. His father, Chivalry, abdicates to escape him. He's been born with the Wit - an ability to mind meld with animals; a skill that is shunned by the nobility as an abomination - which puts him off side with Burrich, his only chance at a father figure. Other members of his family have the Skill - a way to meld minds with other humans - a far better accepted form of magic all but restricted to royalty. One of his uncles, Regal, despises his very existence, as do most who considered themselves Chivalry's or his wife's Patience's loyal subjects. Only Burrich puts up with him, reluctantly taking Fitz under his wing, though the man is constantly torn between his own agony at the loss of his lord, Chivalry, and a fatherly want to look after a young boy abandoned by all. King Shrewd (all nobility are supposedly named after a character trait they have) decides that it's better the devil you know than to put up with a royal bastard-led uprising down the track, he decides to train Fitz as an assassin to bind the boy's loyalty to the crown of the Six Duchies. Fitz's world is opened to not just the sword and dagger, but to a wide range of reasons a king may need for an assassin - an illness to take a noble who may influence another at court out of the picture for a month, an injured horse to...
Tuesday , 24 March 2015 , 06 : 00 AM
Grimdark Magazine is out NOW! That's right, you heard it here first. Grimdark Magazine #3 is out early! No pre-order, no nuthin', just straight into the guts of it. In this issue, you'll find the conclusion to R. Scott Bakker's The Knife of Many Hands (Part II) and short stories from Siobhan Gallagher, Peter Fugazzotto and Kelly Sandoval. There are interviews with Luke Scull and R. Scott Bakker, as well as excerpts from Luke Skull's Sword of the North and Mike Brooks's Dark Run. Cheresse reviews Sword of the North and Malrubius reviews Tim Marquitz's Dirge. Last, but not least, Layla Cummins and Jeremy Szal present Grimdark in Gaming. All packaged in behind an amazing cover by Austen Mengler. All up that's 25,500 words of grimdark goodness. But what about the bundle deals? We've got a couple of absolutely cracking bundle deals for you. They'll give you a whopping 20% off for buying more than one title. BAKKER PACK BUNDLE DEAL: Get The Knife of Many Hands Part 1 and 2 plus an interview with the man himself in GdM #2 and #3. Add in short stories, interviews (Kameron Hurley, Richard K. Morgan, Luke Scull), excerpts and articles and there is a whole lot of meat on them bones.   TRIPLE KIDNEY PUNCH BUNDLE DEAL: Get the first three issues of GdM at 20% off. That's Lawrence, Tchaikovskly, McNeill, Hurley, Morgan, Bakker, Marquitz, Scull and so much more!