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Our Epic Worlds

Damien Black’s Epic Devil’s Night Dawning

 

 

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Devil’s Night Dawning is essentially a supernatural whodunnit that takes place against a backdrop of war, in a high fantasy world of epic proportions with some very dark undertones.

Adelko and Horskram stumble on to something big when they learn a fragment of an ancient artefact has been stolen by a demon from their monastery. They don’t know who is behind it, but Horskram realises that if their mystery warlock succeeds in recovering the other pieces some serious One Ring shit is gonna go down… As they set off to warn the head of their Order in a distant kingdom they are pursued by agents human and supernatural, presumably sent to eliminate them by the very mastermind they are trying to uncover. To make matters more complicated, civil war breaks out in their native kingdom of Northalde, and the two monks become embroiled in this and a series of other misadventures. So there’s a lot going on: war, politics, high adventure, supernatural horror, human ambition, magic, and characters that struggle internally with their own identities and decision-making.

How does your main character fit into this world?

Adelko is a novice monk, indentured the Order of St Argo, a sacred body of monks tasked with apprehending warlocks and fighting demons and other malign spirits that cross over from the Other Side. He has been seconded to Horskram, one of the Order’s foremost exorcists, for on-the-job training in fighting demonkind and sorcerers. But there’s a lot of politics that goes with being an Argolian, as he gets to find out!

Continue reading “Damien Black’s Epic Devil’s Night Dawning”

Craig Munro’s Epic Books of Dust and Bone

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The Night Guard walk the streets of the old kingdom of Bialta seeking out threats that are beyond the abilities of the common soldier.

Nial is one such threat―a girl changed into something “other” and on the hunt for human souls.

Salt, a sailor recently rescued by the Night Guard, has been inducted into their ranks. He’s a quick study, but as new threats multiply all around them, will he have what it takes to survive?

Bialta is not alone in its woes. Sacral, a city that vanished in the distant past, has reappeared where it once stood at the heart of the Wastes. Like many of Sacral’s people, Maura is content living a quiet life, ignoring the outside world. But she finds herself desperately fighting to save her home as war comes to the city returned.

Meanwhile, across the Great Desert, creatures are stirring. Carver, the last living master of the magic known as fleshcarving, has won the support of the tyrant of Tolrahk Esal. Together they will unleash his twisted creations to sweep across the land and forever disrupt the balance of power.

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Daniel Stride’s Viiminian Empire

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Walking corpses and black-market liquor: the quiet life.

Teltö Phuul, Necromancer and Library Clerk, likes his days safe and predictable. Not for him the intrigues of the Viiminian Empire, a gothic monstrosity held together by sheer force of will.

Until the Empire’s dreaded secret police come knocking. Caught in a web of schemes in the diseased heart of Kuolinako, the underground Imperial capital, Teltö can trust no-one. Not the Northern theocrats who abhor Necromancy, and certainly not the Grand Chancellor, whose iron-fisted rule has kept the old order alive that little bit longer.

When one false step means torture and disappearance, this journey will change our Necromancer forever.

What makes your world special or different?

Necromancy, the ability to raise the non-decomposed dead via mental command, is a universal ability in this world. The homeland of our protagonist, the Viiminian Empire, bases its entire socio-economic and political structure around this: the undead serve as a slave labour force for factory work, essentially making them flesh robots, while the society itself is ruled de facto by a necromantic caste.

The neighbouring state, the Skeevereet Principality, regards necromancy as abhorrent, and against its religious tenets. However, whereas the Viiminan Empire is  meritocratic – enjoying complete equality of gender and sexuality – the Principality is theocratic, misogynistic, and militaristic. As such, there is much innate hostility between the two countries, with neither being particularly nice places to live.

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Review of Wraith Knight by C.T. Phipps

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WARNING: do not attempt this novel unless your schedule for the day is clear.

I could not put down Wraith Knight by C.T. Phipps. I tried. I had lots of things to do. Alas, my plans for the day were crushed because this book is addictive.

Wraith Knight chronicles the events that transpire when Jacob, former legendary hero, finds himself shriven of life and wakes up not just dead, but a Wraith Knight, one of the four Dark Lords of the King Below. He soon discovers that the King Below is dead, and he has spent the last two centuries in the service of evil. Jacob is understandably not happy about this circumstance. After abortive attempts to end his (un)existence, Jacob finds himself saddled with the duty to bring the Nine Heroes to ruin and become the next King Below.

In short order, Jacob hooks up with female companions Regina, a warrior-elf, and Serah, a powerful dark sorceress who, over the course of their adventures, develop a deep affection for each other and even Jacob — kind of like a holy trinity of darkness.

There are many themes explored in this book that I thoroughly enjoyed. It is a complex grimdark tale that takes the usual fantasy tropes and turns them on their head. Jacob’s character is sarcastic and hilarious – everything you’d want in a reluctant Dark Lord. His two female companions are both fierce, independent heroines who manage to embrace their own strengths without diminishing the male protagonist.

The theme of “one man’s villain is another man’s hero” is explored in depth within these pages.

The Lawgiver (god of light) comes off as perhaps a worse choice in deity than the King Below. The whole concept of good and evil is brought into question, and we find ourselves beginning to side with Jacob the Dark Lord and his Shadowkind allies against the Lightborn.

The novel also contains an exceptionally grimdark and complex romance between Jacob and his long-dead lover, Jassamine, a sanctified arch-wizard and a lawful-good character diametrically opposed to what Jacob now represents.

I thoroughly enjoyed Wraith Knight and am already thirsting for the sequel. Highly recommend!

Review – Darklands

The Scribblings

Darien Lauchlin was ready to give up his life to protect the lands of the Rhen and save the soul of the woman he loved. But he damned himself in the process and now he has to pay the price. Even if it means turning against everyone he had cared about.

Set two years after Darkmage, Darklands continues the story by having Darien brought back, but this time in service to the very people he had spent his life training to fight. Given the task of leading the people of the Darklands into the lands of the Rhen to escape a potential cataclysm, he is forced to re-evaluate everything he believed. The more he learns about the Darklands and it’s people, the more he is driven to question his previous perspective on them. At the same time, he is continually confronted by people, particularly his guide, who fear and hate him for…

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Joyce Hertzoff’s Epic Portal Worlds

 

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Anabet Haines dreamed about traveling from the family farm to the exotic places her Aunt Gillian described, so when her aunt recruited her as the next portal traveler, Bet jumped at the chance.

In the capital of Nokar, Bet and Gill were tasked with traveling through a portal to locate a thief, Rolf Peters, and the portal key he stole.

After one lesson in hand-to-hand combat and the use of a knife from weapons instructor Morgan, a visit to Cass the magician to obtain a substitute key for the portal, and a dressmaker for appropriate clothing for the journey the situation escalated. A rebel group threatened the High Council and abducted Morgan, forcing Gill to remain behind while Bet had to travel alone.

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The Epic World of Perilisc by Jesse Teller

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Enter Jesse’s Giveaway by July 16th!

Meredith Mestlven was abused and betrayed by her nobleman husband. After a desperate fit of retaliation, she fled for her life and lost her sanity. Now nearly 20 years later, she returns to her home at Sorrow Watch to destroy her enemies and reclaim her jewels.

Is there a system of magic?

There was a great god war. The skies opened up. The gods formed ranks and charged into each other. It lasted tens of thousands of years, and during that time, gods were falling dead from the sky like meteors. As they died, their blood stained the world with magic. That magic haunts that ground. So when wizards cast, they summon that power up from the ground into their aura, form it with incantations, and fire it out of their bodies, or cause it to affect the world around them.

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Review of Devil’s Night Dawning by Damien Black

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Devil’s Night Dawning is an immersive venture into a meticulously-crafted fantasy world.

How else to describe this novel, other than a juxtaposition of The Exorcist, Kingdom of Heaven and Game of Thrones? If that sounds like a stretch, rest assured—this author took on quite a challenge! And he delivered.

Devil’s Night Dawning begins with an exorcism that foretells the gathering of dark forces threatening to spill into the world from the Other Side. Adelko, a novice of the Order of St. Argo, along with his master, Brother Horskram, find themselves embroiled in this perilous clash of powers when a fragment of a potent relic is stolen from their monastery by a powerful warlock.

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