Review: The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley

The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley | Tor Books, 2014

The Emperor’s Blades is the tale of two brothers (and a sister, but I’ll get into that later), the sons of the Emperor of Annur. Kaden, the heir to the throne, was sent to a remote monastery to learn the teachings of the Blank God while his younger brother Valyn was sent to join the Kettral, the Empire’s elite military unit. When the Emperor is murdered from within both suddenly find themselves facing more than a little bit of trouble. While Kaden and Valyn face their own threats their sister Adare does her best to hold the Empire together from within its ruling council. The basic structure of The Emperor’s Blades, particularly in how it deals with a geographically scattered ruling family looking to hold their Empire together reminded me a bit of David Anthony Durham’s splendid Acacia series.

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Review: Yesterday’s Gone (Season 1) by Sean Platt and David W. Wright

Yesterday’ Gone: Season 1 | Sean Platt and David W. Wright

The internet, in all it’s messy democratic glory, has opened up the door for not only the exploration of new formats of storytelling but also to once explore formats of old. The notion of the “serial” is nothing new from Dickens,to radio, to television, to comics it is a long lived means of telling a story. In the 21st century the proliferation of the internet, and particularly its mobility, have opened the floodgates for the serial’s return. Sean Platt and David W. Wright are the founders of Collective Inkwell where they have focused on telling serialized stories. Recently, the duo signed a deal with Amazon’s 47North which is how I came to stumble upon the audiobook version of Yesterday’s Gone: Season 1.

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Review: The Iron Wolves by Andy Remic

The Iron Wolves by Andy Remic | Angry Robot, 2013

I went into The Iron Wolves with the expectation that it wouldn’t be exactly my cup of tea. I’ve been feeling a bit burned out on the whole “grimdark” thing and I figured The Iron Wolves would continue that trend. Much to my surprise I found Remic’s latest fantasy novel to be an engaging, almost hypnotic, opus of foul sorcery and violence. I mean that in the best way possible. The Iron Wolves, a titular squad of heroes have since disbanded and most have fallen on hard times. Of course, there is trouble brewing as the sorcerers creature Orlana the Changer has flesh-crafted horrific creatures to serve her and has set about raising an army of vicious Mud Orcs. So it is that the Iron Wolves are needed once again.

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Review: Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach

Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach | Orbit, 2013

Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach is like a love letter to all the tons of cool things you can do with science fiction. Devianna “Devi” Morris is a power armored space marine whose career has peaked in her current position. Devi is ambitious and she wants to server with the elite of Emperor’s soldiers but to do that she has to prove her worth. Enter The Glorious Fool a ship whose service record is so perilous that 1 year about her is worth 5 years of experience anywhere else. Devi, anxious to prove herself, signs up for what turns out to be a tour both more mysterious and more perilous than even she could have imagined.

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